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Thursday, April 21, 2005

House keeps ANWR drilling in energy bill

The House of Representatives late Wednesday turned away an amendment to strip ANWR drilling from its version of the energy bill by a vote of 231-200.

(Ignore the headline in the cited Seattle Times story: The full energy bill had not been approved at that writing. A final vote is expected today.)

The amendment was offered by Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who said ANWR drilling does nothing to reduce the nation's fuel consumption, which is, of course, the essence of the nation's energy problem.

The House also rejected an amendment to require automakers to increase fuel economy to a fleet average of 33 miles per gallon over the next decade. The vote on this was even more resoundingly negative: 254-177.

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., who put forth the defeated fuel-economy amendment, called the energy bill "a farce." He said it will "increase the deficit, weaken our economy, compromise our national security and endanger our environment."

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